Samsung plots more Internet of Things data points from home to hospitals

Based on the roadmap outlined by company executives, a bigger piece of the puzzle isn't meant to be filled by Samsung but rather the tech giant's global developer community.

SAN FRANCISCO---Samsung has been pushing wearables and big data initiatives for well over a year , and now the mobile giant is tying those pieces and more together with a unified plan for connected living from home to work.

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But based on the roadmap outlined by company executives, a bigger piece of that puzzle isn't Samsung but rather the Korean tech giant's global developer community.

Dr. Luc Julia, vice president of innovation for Samsung Electronics, told the keynote audience at the Samsung Developers Conference on Wednesday that Samsung is "defining a new paradigm," resulting in data-driven development.

Samsung Electronics president Won-Pyo Hong stressed only an open platform will enable developers and manufacturers to innovate faster and better. 

Hong elaborated on Samsung's view for connected living -- which he clarified as the Internet of Things, explaining this spectrum spans billions of connected devices from wearables to cars to home appliances. He cited the global wearable market will grow from 22 million devices shipped in 2014 to 135 million by 2018.

Samsung's Internet of Things strategy is built upon the aforementioned open platform and ecosystem as well as a business model relying on industry partnerships . From there, Samsung is honing in on a handful of verticals: digital health, the smart home, and wearables.

"If you don't have your health, nothing else really matters," insisted Mattison.

The Samsung Digital Health Platform, for example, includes an SDK, an API, algorithms, analytics, devices, and sensors optimized for both commercial and research purposes. From fitness to insurance providers, some of the healthcare partners already onboard include Nike, Aetna, Stanford University, and the University of California San Francisco medical center.

Hong speculated that connected apps and devices geared toward health and fitness will encourage preventative healthcare in the long run. 

Kaiser Permanente's chief medical information officer Dr. John Mattison concurred and argued what we really need are applications that motivate behaviors and help us calibrate health data on a collaborative platform.

"If you don't have your health, nothing else really matters," insisted Mattison.

Ram Fish, vice president of digital health for Samsung Electronics, pointed back to Samsung's Voice of the Body introduction earlier this year . Theorizing that "digital health is is one of the biggest, most meaningful opportunities of our generation," Fish reiterated the need for industry partnerships and an open reference design for third-party developers.

"Innovation, especially disruptive innovation, will not come from one single company," Fish suggested.

"Innovation, especially disruptive innovation, will not come from one single company," Fish suggested.

Samsung's previously unveiled SimBand open reference design is now ready for developers, who can start applying for prototype devices, which will collect "vast amounts of data from the human body."

Beyond personal health to connected devices scattered throughout our everyday lives, Samsung is preparing to roll out a Tizen a web-centric, cross-device platform fully compliant with HTML5 and Javascript. The Galaxy smartphone and tablet maker promised this Tizen platform should reduce fragmentation while facilitating easier app development and experiences.

Alex Hawkinson, founder and CEO of intelligent home platform provider SmartThings, revealed more about his company's collaboration with Samsung to foster a "programmable world."

Directed toward "everyday consumers," Hawkinson cited that the SmartThings platform already supports more than 7,420 device types and 11,801 smart apps. The SmartThings alliance also greatly expands Samsung's industry pool thanks to SmartThings's long list of partners comprised of a myriad of other data-driven businesses ranging from Honeywell to Nest to Jawbone.

Samsung is working more on its own in taking its wearables portfolio to the next level. The Samsung Galaxy Gear watch beat many plenty of competitors to the punch and the market, even if it didn't quite hit the mark with consumers and critics .

"When you think about the enterprise, you have to think in a big way that they're a part of those connections," Bienfait reminded developers in the audience.

Finally, Samsung is taking its wearables portfolio to the next level. The Samsung Galaxy Gear watch beat many plenty of competitors to t he punch and the market , even if it didn't quite hit the mark with consumers and critics .

Nevertheless, Samsung is hoping to grow its wearable tech portfolio with the Gear S SDK, providing developers with cellular network and location data and access to a more advanced user interface. Samsung is also pushing the S Pen SDK to encourage productivity on the related connected stylus, especially on the new Galaxy Note Edge tablet.

The buzz around virtual reality also demonstrating its influence as Samsung flaunted the Oculus-powered Gear VR Innovator Edition, which Samsung touted will revolutionize mobile virtual reality and gaming.

The Gear VR Innovator Edition will be available in the U.S. in early December for the Galaxy Note 4. Developers can pre-registered now for access.

Samsung also plans to further connect its own mobile devices with the debut of Samsung Flow, an application framework that can enable end users to simply swipe content and information displayed on one screen to another instantly.

Robin Bienfait, Samsung's chief enterprise innovation officer, elaborated on Samsung's investment on what she referred to as the "Enterprise of Everything," a connected work environment incorporating business intelligence, automation of products and services, and extended IT control.

"When you think about the enterprise, you have to think in a big way that they're a part of those connections," Bienfait reminded developers in the audience.

Highlighting the open ecosystem mantra and related APIs and SDKs, Bienfait stressed the "mass opportunity" presented by wearables, such as mobile banking to drive customer acquisition, schedule management, and another channel for face-to-face interactions between patients and caregivers.

"Partners are part of what makes us strong," Bienfait remarked, continuing that Samsung is encouraging developers to tap into growth in the enterprise space as another way to reach consumers in the end.

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